March 27, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I sent an email yesterday giving us spiritual encouragement and hope during this difficult time. I also spoke about the church remaining open for personal prayer. Due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout Wayne County, I have decided that we will close the church at 5:00 p.m. today (Friday, March 27, 2020) until further notice. It causes me pain and sadness to do this. However, I must make a responsible decision, in the short term, to close our church so that we may continue to save lives and keep people from becoming ill. This action will help us all by continuing to cooperate with the governor’s executive order to stay in place. Another key point is the safety of our janitorial crew. They need to know that I care for their well-being and health.
Gratefully, for now, we are a virtual Church and I can still connect and care for our parish community with modern technology. We are uploading daily Mass on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and our web-site. Fr. Craig is sending out a recorded message via social media to explain why we will not be administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please make sure you watch his message. We will continue publishing a bulletin which you can access via our web-site. I also read another story book today!
We have groups of parishioners calling our senior citizens to make sure they are safe and to see if they need anything. We have noticed several disconnected phone numbers. With the onset of cell-phone use, many have abandoned their land lines. If this be the case, I ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org and update your contact information.
There are times during the day when my heart feels crushed because of the suffering, stress, anxiety and uncertainty that looms in your hearts and minds. In those moments, pull out the rosary, gaze upon the crucifix, open the Bible – look through the psalms for the feelings you are experiencing and find the psalm that will ease your mind and heart. Together in prayer we will find the calm shores, as Jesus promised.
I pray to Jesus and ask him, with His mighty power, to destroy this virus in completion on Good Friday or to find us a cure, so we can celebrate the great victory of Jesus’ resurrection!
Know that you are not alone. I am here praying with and for you.
St. Michael … pray for us. Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes … pray for us. Jesus the Divine Physician, bring us your healing balm.
In His name,
Fr. Jim Bilot